Ok, I’m not making this UP!

Really, it’s true.

Trust me.

When I first moved to Brandon, Florida in the mid-80s, there was a politician there named “Spud” Clements.

I have no idea what his real name was, but everyone, and I mean everyone knew him as “Spud”.  He’d been the state representative for that area for 22 years.  He served in WW II, and was a State Highway Patrolman for years.  He and his daughter, Cathy were the first Father Daughter team to graduate from the FBI Academy.  He was a 32 Degree Mason, member of the Egypt Shrine, Lions Club, Baptist Church and looked like the sherrif in Porky’s.

He was a Democrat.  It was the Reagan Era, and GHWBush was running for President.  Chris Can’trememberhislastname, an UP and comer, whipper-snapper Republican walked from house to house in the district and whipped ole’ Spud’s Twice Baked Behind.

Chris lasted one term.  He hated politics, hated the compromising, and went back into the more reputable profession of Real Estate.

Spud retired and passed away not long after.

What reminded me of this story and Spud was a recent news story about an Arkansas law regarding nicknames.

Seems had Spud run in Arkansas, he’d have been fine.

Had he been a retired army officer whom everyone called Colonel, he would not have been.

Those crazy Arkansans who gave us Hope not so long ago have a law on the books that prohibits nicknames that denote rank or retired rank from the US Armed Services on ballots unless one is already elected and running for re-election.

Say what?

So, it’s ok in Arkansas to list D’James “Two” Rogers and Harald “Porky” Kimbrell on the ballot, but not Conrad “Colonel” Reynolds. 

Now, I’m quite sure that Two comes from the fact that D’James is the II in the family, and Porky says he got his nickname when he was a fat little kid and everyone called him Porky Pig.  Apparently the Jenny Craig gift certificates didn’t work, and he just stuck with tater tots, fried chicken, collards and the nickname.

Well, the Colonel is all a fumin’ about this, and is challenging the law. 

Listen Bubba, you can call me Colonel!

Seems if elected, the top priorty is to get that pesky “Name Law” changed so that future generations won’t have to worry about their friends not knowing who to vote for.

Wait a minute, isn’t there a war goin’ on, taxes to raise, health care to stop, and traffic lights to put UP?

And Arkansas isn’t the only state with pesky name rules.  Tennessee wouldn’t let a woman list “Grandma” in the middle, and one guy even tried to use “No Middle Name” but was denied since “he had an agenda”.   Seriously, a politician with an agenda.  You gotta’ be kiddin’ me!! 

If you can come UP with a politician who doesn’t have an agenda, let me know.  I for darn sure don’t want him.

Singer, writer, humorist Richard “Kinky” Friedman of Kinky Friedman and The Texas Jewboys was allowed to use his middle name when he ran for Governor of that Great State.  But then that’s Texas, and they had a Governor who went by one initial.

Kinky Friedman

So, to all you Bubbas, JimBobs, TuPacs, Kinkys and Freakys out there, bring it on, just leave that uniform in the closet!

And Arkansas, thanks for keepin’ that Southern Stereotype alive.